Speedway News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

IPSWICH star Taylor Poole suffered a suspected broken arm in a crash-strewn opening to the season at Foxhall on Thursday.The Anglian Cup tie against Rye House was abandoned after twelve heats with the Witches 41-33 up, and Poole had become the third rider to be withdrawn following team-mate Morten Risager and Rockets skipper Chris Neath (back complaint).Ipswich co-promoter Chris Louis said:  “A winning start is usually good but a meeting like this isn’t good for either team. Challenge meetings are meant as a way for riders to get themselves back into racing without the pressure of league points being at stake. “They were all racing flat out tonight and both teams have suffered as a result. Medical updates will be provided as soon as we receive any for the three injured riders. We obviously wish all of them a full and speedy recovery.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

NEWCASTLE manager George English took some positives from the first leg of the Northern Challenge against Redcar despite seeing his side beaten by six points.The Bears won the meeting 48-42 in a meeting curtailed one race short after home man Matej Kus was involved in a crash in the attempt to run Heat 15.English said: “At least we’ve got the first match out of the way and all the rust hopefully scoured off so we can race up to our full potential in the near future. “Having said that, the mid-match fight back was nothing short of fantastic, so we know the potential is there already, now we need to get the whole squad firing at full power all together.”

(SPEEDWAY 3)

LAKESIDE newcomer Davey Watt will be one of the star attractions at Berwick’s Fence Fund Challenge season-opener on Saturday.Riders will be competing in the meeting free of charge as the Bandits raise funds having installed their new Polyfoam barrier at Shielfield Park.Club director George Hepburn said: “Our biggest name must be Davey Watt. He’s been in the Grand Prix, the World Cup, and he wants to get back into those most prestigious of speedway affairs next summer.“Davey is aiming to do as much racing as he can to keep himself fit, and when he heard about our ‘good cause’ meeting on Saturday, we couldn’t get him off the phone until we agreed he could take part!”

(SPEEDWAY 4)

POOLE manager Neil Middleditch is optimistic ahead of the reigning Elite League champions’ title defence this season.The Pirates held their press and practice earlier this week before launching the new campaign with home and away Elite Shield clashes against Wolverhampton.Middleditch said: “Whilst we open up our season with an early chance of claiming a trophy I do feel that these meetings will be as much about the lads flexing their muscles and getting into the groove ahead of the league, which of course is the big one and the one we would dearly love to win again. “I am more than happy with the side that I have got to work with this year. Matt (Ford) has yet again delivered on that score and now its all about knitting together as a team. We are ready and raring to go and all the lads are looking forward to Monday and Wednesday next week.”

(SPEEDWAY 5)

BIRMINGHAM have added Rye House regular Ritchie Hawkins to their squad as cover for the unavailable Tyson Nelson.Hawkins, 29, will share a team position with Josh Auty for the Brummies until Nelson is able to return from Australia, having seen the start of his season delayed by paperwork issues.Brummies chief Graham Drury said: “I had a couple of riders in mind to bring in once it was obvious we had a problem with Nelson but I know Ritchie, I worked with him at Workington and he’s a good lad.“He knows Josh Auty will start the season as the first choice for doubling-up but we will give Ritchie opportunities and I’m sure he will be looking to take them with both hands.”

(FIXTURES)

FRIDAY MARCH 16:BRANDONAPOLIS: Coventry 8pmCHALLENGE 1st leg: Scunthorpe v Leicester 7.30

SATURDAY MARCH 17:ANGLIAN CUP 2nd leg: Rye House v Ipswich 7pmFENCE FUND CHALLENGE: Berwick 7pmMAGNUS KARLSSON TESTIMONIAL: Leicester 7.30

SUNDAY MARCH 18:NORTHERN CHALLENGE 2nd leg: Newcastle v Redcar 7pmBOB KILBY MEMORIAL: Swindon 6pmSHANE PARKER FAREWELL: Sheffield 5pm

MONDAY MARCH 19:ELITE SHIELD 1st leg: Wolverhampton v Poole 7.30CHALLENGE: Peterborough v Sullivan’s Seven 7.30


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